Navigating Lough Neagh

The largest inland lough in the United Kingdom

Through the lock at Toome on the lower River Bann lies Lough Neagh, an inland sea 27km long by 18km wide. It is the largest inland lough in the United Kingdom.

A newly refurbished marina is located at Ballyronan on the west bank. Other places of interest in and around Lough Neagh include Coney Island, Ardboe Battery, Kinnegoe Marina, Castle Bay and Rams Island. It is also possible to navigate the River Blackwater from Maghery.

Lough Neagh requires care in strong winds because the waves are short and steep. Sand dredging is an important commercial activity and there are many fishermen who earn a living catching pollan, a freshwater herring peculiar to Lough Neagh.

The proposed reopening of the Ulster Canal between Lough Neagh and Lough Erne and on to the River Shannon in the Republic of Ireland is eagerly awaited. It will provide the missing link between these important waterways and in turn provide opportunities for further economic development.

© Victor Hamill with acknowledgements to Wallace Clarke. Reproduced with kind permission of the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association 2004.